HENDERSONVILLE Ian Hafner admitted that he was pretty cold on Friday evening.
But his stat line didn’t show it, as the Beech High senior scored four out of five times he touched the ball as the Buccaneers defeated visiting Gallatin 45-7 at Shackle Island Stadium.
Hafner caught three passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns, and also rushed for 29 yards with a touchdown on two carries. Two receptions came on jump balls in the end zone.
“I just did whatever I could to help my team,” Hafner said. “(Sophomore quarterback Nelson Smith) knows how fast I am and just how high I can jump, and he can put it in a place where only I can get it.”
Beech (5-2 overall, 3-1 in District 9-AAA) remained in a share of first place with the victory.
Hafner scored three of his touchdowns in the first half, and also collected an interception as well.
“I didn’t come out much during the game, but when I did, I started to freeze immediately,” Hafner said.
Gallatin (4-3, 2-2) committed four first-half turnovers, leading to 21 Beech points. Hafner scored on a 25-yard pass from Smith early in the third quarter, giving Beech a 42-7 lead and activating the mercy-rule, running clock.
“We can’t have those turnovers,” Gallatin head coach Mark Williams said.
The Buccaneers scored 38 unanswered points after Gallatin (4-3, 2-2) tied the game at 7 on senior quarterback Christian Campbell’s 29-yard touchdown pass to junior Gatkek Kueth on the Green Wave’s second possession.
Campbell started in place of junior Wyatt Hayes for Friday’s contest.
“Christian works his tail off in practice and we gave him an opportunity to get out there and play. He did some positive things early on,” Williams said
The Buccaneers’ effort spoiled Gallatin junior tailback Jordan Mason’s night. Mason — who has interest from Florida State and Vanderbilt — rushed for 169 yards on 20 carries.
“It felt real good (to hold Gallatin to seven points),” Napper said. “I feel like it gave us a lot of confidence. Our coaches prepared us well enough to know where the ball was going. They made us understand that Mason was going to get his yards, but at the end of the day we had to execute and not give up points.”
Beech committed six penalties on Friday, a far cry from the 16 flags the Buccaneers were assessed last week.
“We talked about that before the game and tried to refocus, and not make some of the mental mistakes. The (penalty situation) was much better tonight,” Beech head coach Anthony Crabtree said.
Beech will host Station Camp next Friday, while Gallatin will travel to Hendersonville.
Reach Chris Brooks at 615-575-7118 or on Twitter @CB_SumnerSports.